Sunday, May 22, 2016

Projects Finished, Started, and Never Ending

    In actuality, we have started more projects than we have finished, but I think I can safely say we're having fun in the process. For every two steps forward in completing anything, we seem to take one step back. That's how the bedroom redo feels anyway. On the plus side, we bought a new mattress and we're sleeping in our bedroom again. The maple hardwood floor that Steve installed is gorgeous. (You can see it under the bench in the photo) He drove all the way to New York to buy the maple back in March so it would match the rest of the flooring in the house. This time we used a satin polyurethane finish rather than glossy and it's much prettier. The backwards step (or leap in terms of time consumed) was our drive to IKEA this weekend to buy some final touch items like curtains. IKEA has a 100% linen curtain called AINA at an unbeatable price. The downside is that we don't have an IKEA nearby and they charge $50 to ship them. Crazy! So, we decided to drive three hours to IKEA in Charlotte, NC and make a fun day of it. It was fun, alright. We had a blast. I bought three pairs of  the Aina curtains, in white, for our bedroom, along with some other odds and ends. We enjoyed a great lunch in their cafeteria (Their vegetable balls are delicious!) and then we drove three hours back home. As soon as we got home, I opened a pair of the curtains and held them up to the window. I was hugely let down to discover that the curtains aren't actually white; they're off-white. Against our white window trim and white bedding, the curtains look very yellow and cast a yellow tint in the room. Steve didn't see it as big deal, but in all fairness, this is the man who wanted to buy a huge metal bucket for an ashtray. Haha! My entire body language is saying, "You've got to be kidding, right?"

To me, the off-color was a big deal and there's no way I could live with it so, they will be mailed back. Steve knows me well enough by now and laughingly says I'm crazy as a loon. And I know him well enough to know that he was serious about the ash tray. Either way, we had a fun day at IKEA. and I will never speak of this goof again. I will now order seventeen yards of white linen and sew our curtains, but not before I first order fabric swatches to make sure it's white linen and not off-white. Lesson learned.
     In the realm of almost finished projects, here goes:

This was a natural colored wood bench from my mom's kitchen. I painted it with two coats of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in a color called Aubusson Blue. This is my first experience with chalk paint and I like using it a lot. I distressed the finish after it was painted but before I sealed it. Since the bench will be used out on the covered porch, I can't use Annie Sloan's wax. I understand the wax will not cure in high temperatures. Instead, I will finish this with a coat of flat Polyvine polyurethane. It's a water based product, but since the bench won't be directly out in the rain, it should be fine. Another unfinished part of this project is the cushion I still need to sew from the outdoor fabric shown in the photo. I love the colors. I bought it with my red geraniums in mind and I think all the colors will be pretty together out on the porch.

     The second "almost finished" project is my hooked rug. I just need to add a couple of rows of green border, sew binding on the edges and it's done! I enjoyed the entire process and I learned a lot by hooking this as a beginner piece. I already have my next project planned and I can't wait to begin. I hope to get better with practice. I would compare this to a potter's first piece of thrown clay or a painter's first painting. First attempts are usually clumsy, as mine certainly is. There are so many flaws to this rug, which I won't point out, but I can say that I have much improvement to gain in color blending and execution. There is a large group of rug hookers who meet each month at a local church. I attended their meeting for the second time this past Saturday. I saw dozens of beautiful rugs in various stages of hooking and learned so much by talking with these lovely ladies and asking questions. One lady came up to me and introduced herself as one of my neighbors! She lives two miles up our road and we will certainly become friends. I will also continue to meet with Eleanor this week as she mentors me in the craft. A large, positive side of having a craft, any craft, is the social aspect of it.

     The last, but not nearly the least, project I'm working on is the garden. We have so much to do out there. This is the side of our bedroom. Steve pulled out a huge lilac that was on the left croner. (The planting of the lilac so close to the house falls under my Crazy-as-a-Loon title) The roots were so deep on that thing that he used the pickup truck to pull out most of it, then a pick ax to dig put the rest. It was intense labor. We replaced it with this tall boxwood. The week of rains came and I still need to get back out there and pull up the rest of the coreopsis and rock geranium. Then, I will plant a row of low growing, round boxwood with some flowers behind them. We still have a shed to build... I won't even say, "Stay tuned" because we will never be finished and at the moment I like it that way. As in everything, the process is the experience.

     This was the view from our back hill this evening. Tess and I rejoiced over this beautiful rainbow. It didn't end behind the tree line, but rather in front of the trees, in the field across the road from our house. Putting the day in perspective; sure, we had our long ride to IKEA for almost naught. We also have glitches in our lives, broken relationships, stressful jobs, endless unfinished projects, and even deep sadness. But, look at this! How can we say anything but, "God is good." We will seek Him in the good and the bad, and in the process all along the way.

1 comment:

  1. And I work about 10 minutes from IKEA in Atlanta and rarely go, but maybe I will now, so I can try the vegetable balls!

    I had the same thing happen with a silk lampshade - it made the room look gloomy and I had loved it until then. Back it went. I think it's worth it to make sure you have everything you want.

    I could see that as an ashtray, with some sand in it, out on the porch. Love the look you are giving him.

    And that is such a nice, community thing - to get together and work on rugs. I like your rug - it's beautiful.

    The rainbow is lovely and does put a nice signature on everything. God is good, all the time.